Sweet and Sour Stuffed Onions

By Michael Rantissi and Kristy Frawley

Sweet and Sour Stuffed Onions

Sweet and Sour Stuffed Onions. Not many people think of Middle Eastern food as salty, sour and sweet as that combination is usually associated with Asian cuisine. This dish is an interesting use of onions and unusual Middle Eastern flavours.  It takes a bit of time to prepare but is definitely worth the effort.

Serves 6 to 8

3 large red or brown onions

50 g raisins

350 coarse minced ground beef

100 g long-grain rice

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon ground allspice

4 tablespoons olive oil

3 tablespoons tamarind paste

Juice of 1 lemon

500 ml vegetable or chicken stock

Salt to taste


Peel the onions and cut them in half lengthways.  Put them in a large saucepan of boiling water, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 – 15 minutes, until tender.  Drain and set aside to cool.   When the onions are cool enough to handle, separate the layers

Meanwhile, soak the raisins in hot water for 5 minutes, then drain.

Combine the beer, rice, raisins, spices and oil in a bowl and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Stuff each onion layer with some of the beef mixture and press firmly.  Arrange in a large flameproof casserole dish in a single layer with the opening on the bottom.

Combine the tamarind paste, lemon juice and stock and season with salt.  Pour the mixture over the onions.  Bring to the boil over medium heat, then cover, reduce the heat to low and cook for 40 minutes.  Remove the lid and cook for a further 5 minutes.


This is an extract from Hummus & Co by Michael Rantissi and Kristy Frawley, published by Murdoch Books. Photos by Alan Benson. If you love this Sweet and Sour Stuffed Onions other recipes from this book include Iron Goddess Iced Tea with plums, mint and lemon leaves and Asparagus, Pea and Feta Tart


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